Unlike the Shroud quest, this questline is neatly self-contained. There aren't any little twists to keep the story going, and everything is wrapped up nice and tidily.
As I've already described at length the intricacies of how this quest and the Macrobinocular quest were tied together, I won't be doing this again here. Everything will be about the Seeker Droids.
|"Has anyone ever told you that your breastplate looks like a face?"|
"Does everyone have to bring this up...?"
Unlike the Macrobinoculars, this quest is known most for its "meat"; using the provided Seeker Droids to dig up the seeds from underground while avoiding any nearby corrupted entities.
This is incredibly tedious, as the Seeker Droids are notoriously inaccurate in dealing with only one item in a large area. Often you'd send the Droid in one direction and then go where it tells you to look afterwards, only to be told that actually you should have gone an entirely different direction altogether. Sometimes you'd get lucky within a couple of minutes, and other times it might take upwards of half-an-hour.
It's not pleasant.
Speaking of the corrupted entities, some of them can be rather painful. Some Champions, notably the Corrupted Wampa and Sand Demon, are now some of the only soloable Champions in the open world which all but require a Healer - or very clever uses of defensive cooldowns - to survive.
Voss is notably painful, as not only do the corrupted Vorantiki hit quite hard, but the area for the Seed is one of the largest, making for one of the most tedious searches.
Much like the Macrobinocular quest, there are a couple of excursions. The most notable, and also the longest of these single-player excursions, takes place in the Sith facility known as Arcanum. This facility was created to house the most dangerous of Sith experiments, and can be viewed more as a dedicatory museum than an attempt to keep the galaxy safe.
This is a vertical jumping 'puzzle', although only very few elements have any paths which you must figure out. It's mainly just 'mind the gap' and avoiding any mobs which are sent your way by Lord Tagriss, who manages to secure an artefact known as the "Darkstaff". More on him later.
You'd hope that a facility of this nature would provide some Sithy easter eggs, but sadly there's only one and you're hit over the head with it immediately. A sarcophagus containing a Rakghoul is opened in an attempt to impede your progress, and whilst the ident plaque contains more information, the mission text identifies it far too quickly as "Karness Muur's Patient Zero". Sigh...
Perhaps the only other 'easter egg' comes in the form of the third 'chronological' Dashade; Veshikk Urk. Rather curiously, he features a design which has yet to be seen made into a Companion Customisation for either Khem or Ak'ghal, which at least gives him a semblance of uniqueness! Sadly, the mechanics of his fight aren't particularly interesting and he can die very quickly if you're Ranged and able to keep him at bay.
Indeed, I don't think I've ever actually seen this fight as anything but Ranged...
The Darkstaff is the only artifact which you see being stolen in this particular raid on the Arcanum. It's worth stressing that the Seeds of Rage were originally stolen in another raid on the Arcanum by the Dread Masters' forces, so this second raid is really quite pointless when all is said and done.
Even more so when the Darkstaff is promptly eliminated as a concern in the Belsavis excursion. In the hands of another Sith Lord mook, the staff makes him immune until it steadily consumes him and then completely disintegrates. That was a worthwhile acquisition, then!
Tagriss is soon after located on the planet Ilum, operating within a second Jedi Temple. It is here that the final showdown takes place in a Heroic-4.
|"You got something on your face..."|
This Heroic is notable for two rooms of stress. The first of these is the Corridor of Doom; somebody - I presume the non-infected remnant of the Dread Guard whom Tagriss can't comprehend not wanting to be subjected to his experiments - has locked Corrupted Dread Guards behind ray-shields and set up containment turrets.
The trouble is is that nobody managed to successfully power the turrets before something managed to interrupt proceedings. It is our job, therefore, to restore power through installing self-replenishing power cells -Star Wars technology is marvellous - while also occasionally needing to sacrifice a cell to restore strength to the ray shields at various points. Should a shield fail, the Dread Guards behind will rush out, and if they happen to hit someone carrying a cell they will explode and die.
The annoying thing here is that failing to restore power to the turrets and dying to the swarms will mean that you need to go through the entire ordeal again, as everything - including the mobs you killed along the way - to respawn.
The second room of stress is what I like to call the Triple-Tongue Tentacle Tomb. It makes sense in context!
One of Tagriss's data logs reveals that he has subjected a "big" creature from Arcanum to his experiments, and after a quite bizarre scene where a Dread Guard is lassoed to his doom by a long sticky tongue, this Corrupted Sithspawn Experiment is revealed to be a triple-tongued Underlurker from Makeb. Because it was a new creature design with 2.0, I guess...?
This fight has the potential to be one of the longest fights possible. If you're not careful with scheduling interrupts or he lands in the wrong place - more details on this in a minute - it can take upwards of ten minutes to kill him.
This is mainly because the Experiment builds stacks of damage reduction, each granting 10% damage reduction, every time he loses 10% health, granting a total of 90% damage reduction when he reaches 10%. This in itself isn't that annoying as it can be negated; he will frequently leap to the ceiling and summon tentacles, and upon their deaths he will leap back down again. If you get him to land on a barrel of harmful chemicals, he will be stunned and regardless of how many stacks of Dread Carapace he's at you will deal full damage during this time.
The problem is that you need to be very exact with where you stand; even so much as a step too far will cause him to land 'next' to the barrel and not explode it. It's rather aggravating, but there's not much to do except hope you get it right the next time.
It then gets more tedious: occasionally he'd perform an action called "Dread Tentacles" (seriously), which stuns you for a good number of seconds while his health steadily ticks back up. Since this ability isn't casted if enough damage is dealt to him while he's down, it becomes more and more frequent the lower in HP he gets, so if you're particularly unlucky with missing interrupts this may cause him to negate any damage done to him before this point.
Eventually, the Sithspawn dies and you're free to move on.
|"I've got an eyepatch. That means that I'm edgy, right?"|
Basically, he starts off by whaling on you with his lightsaber, before he then empowers himself with the nearby Seed of Rage. In this phase, he is immune to damage and does extra mechanics, such as electrifying the water and managing to force-choke you at range. To negate it, you need to retrieve a shard of one of three crystals which he uses to 'activate' the Forge, and jam it into the Seed to stop its power being channelled.
This is basically the fight over and done with, as he repeats this mechanic twice more and then promptly collapses and dies regardless of what percentage he's at.
Following this, you then need to decide what to do with the one remaining Seed; activate the Forge and use its power for yourself, or store it away harmlessly with the others? Of course, this is the moral choice of the quest, and back in the day this had the interesting effect of dictating which chestpiece and title you received. Storing the seed meant that you were a "Star Forager", whilst using the seed enabled you to construct a capeless version of the Warrior War Hero chest called the Dreadseed chest.
Nowadays, completing the quest grants you a choice of armour box, which also contains the appropriate title, thus 'negating' the significance of this particular choice.
The Seeker Droid quest is... interesting. I would argue that it's easily the more forgettable of the two 2.0 side quests, as the Macrobinocular questline has easily more memorable excursions and at least a semblance of an interesting villain. Tagriss is just another Sith Lord who serves the Dread Masters; there is nothing to make him more interesting than the others.
The majority of this quest is incredibly tedious. Not only do you have to spend so much time digging up the seeds to begin with, but the final Heroic has easily one of the most tedious fights in the entire game. It's a shame to say this, because it has good potential from an archaeology perspective, but sadly the Seeker Droid isn't used to this end at all, even in the areas where it crops up later on.
The Arcanum facility is an interesting location, but I do wish that there were more secrets to uncover whilst we were in there. Also, we never learn the significance of this second Jedi Temple on Ilum...
On the plus side, the quest NPCs for both factions are interesting characters. Cedral Gend is one of those Jedi Masters who we see taking an active interest in Imperial activity rather than simply sitting on his backside, to the extent that he has well-embedded spies regularly reporting back on the activities of Darth Acina and her torturers. Considering that Acina is a Dark Council Member, this is no mean feat!
Allegedly, Gend was supposed to feature prominently in the 'original' Yavin IV story before Shadow of Revan appropriated it for its own use. I don't know how true this is, but I would certainly love to see Gend make a return at some point!
Acina herself is potentially less interesting at this stage. Whilst her status of being in charge of the Arcanum facility gives her far greater prominence than Gend throughout this questline, there isn't much else which perhaps can be said about her. I will say, though, that it is excellent to have our Dark Council roster expanded in-game, especially as her immediate predecessor, Darth Karrid, never even appeared upon her ascension to the Council after Darth Hadra's death on Corellia.
Plus, this is currently the only time you can get to know Acina before her claiming the title of Sith Empress, a position which is likely to be seen 'in-full' in Knights of the Eternal Throne. Whether or not choosing to use the Seeds for yourself, thus earning her ire, during the Imperial questline will cause her to hold a grudge remains to be seen.